What Dr. Koshkin (see previous post Stick) failed to tell me, forgot to prescribe, or perhaps hasn’t come to know the importance of, is that there are, to my mind, at least a couple of critical steps I need to take in between emotionally giving up this battle I’ve been in to get well (to quit fighting as he put it) and accepting that I will likely be ill for the rest of my life and living on pain meds every day forever. That’s quite a lot to accept after all.
Since I last wrote I’ve bumped head on into the need for SOMETHING, which got me thinking, which led to the idea of these steps I feel Dr. Koshkin is missing. They are, 1. To acknowledge a loss or losses, i.e. the loss of a segment of my health and everything that goes along with that and, 2. Grief for these losses.
I’m not writing these words just about me, to me, although it does help to see my flailings in black and white, to speak my pain as they say. I’m writing about “us,” the collective “we.” Whatever it is that any one of us is challenged by, I believe that before we can stop fighting it, we must identify and acknowledge any losses associated with it and then grieve them properly. There. Can we all breathe a collective sigh of relief?
Because I do believe, really believe, that once we have properly grieved something, we can heal, we do heal. In fact I believe our bodies have an inherent knowing of how to move through loss if we will just let them. If we will give ourselves over to them. And when we do, we can heal and I think we could, then, finally accept whatever it is we must face. With grace and courage, a lot of the time.
I had a really bad day (you know the kind I’m talking about because each and every one of us has had them) the other day when I realized I didn’t get to just give lip service in a blog post to what I want and then have it happen. I don’t get to simply decide to accept my situation and then have it be somehow eased. I have work to do even if that work is “only” to let go. I don’t get to go from A to Z without living at least some of the other letters in between. That’s the deal. Grief has stages. And I believe it is grief itself I’ve been fighting so hard to sidestep.
“The sun rolls through a perpetual cycle, winter returning to winter returning to winter, and lunar rhythms span the heavens as if following a mathematical algorithm.” I read this in a wonderful book a friend sent me titled House of Rain by Craig Childs. He’s writing about the Anasazi but I know he is also writing something that is universal. He says, about a group of tourists arriving at Chaco Canyon, that, “People were gathering this morning to pay attention to time in a way that is steadily being forgotten.”
Time. Slowly moving, gracefully unfolding time. The kind that heals.
Did you know the Anasazi wove their sandals on looms with a weave so fine as to lose the distinction between each thread? Except for the individualized geometric patterns woven onto the sole of each sandal, so that walkers would make identifying marks, like signatures, across the landscape as they moved over it.
Time does heal. Not the Post Herpathic Neuralgia–that’s apparently with me to stay. But I am coming to understand that I have the power within me to heal my way of being within the pain, to perhaps find a way of giving it space, to sort of legitimize it, to hear it, to quit running from it, to be with it.
Again Craig Childs: “The period we now live in, the twenty-first century, is perhaps the only time in human history when common people have held so little knowledge of the sky.”
In fact I’ve quit my relationship with the sky. Perhaps I’ll go back to standing in the middle of my land, in the black of night, wrapped round by that awesome blanket of Milky Way and deep, deep space. I’ll watch time move its journey across the heavens…
Time. I will give myself time, quiet time. As much as is needed.
Craig Childs writes, “Whatever is known or not known about the people who built here [the Anasazi of Chaco Canyon], it is at least certain that they were gripped by a profound order, imbued with an enduring sense of time and procession. Perhaps this is inevitable for anyone living beneath the sky.”
I live beneath the sky.
Love to you all,